France: Exceeding Expectations

Submitted by Caleigh Bauer on the 2020 spring semester study abroad program in Rome, Italy…

Last week, I traveled to Paris for the weekend. It amazes me how easy it is to just hop on a flight and travel to nearby European cities. I have dreamed about traveling to France since I was a middle schooler learning basic French. While the French language has been forgotten over the years, I have not forgotten about my wish to travel to Paris. However, I was a little concerned about the stereotypes I had heard about the French. Are they unfriendly? Would they dislike me because I am American?

From the moment I arrived in Paris, the French broke all of their stereotypes. Our cab driver told us about all the best places to go during our short two days in Paris and even gave us advice on using public transportation and the area in which we were staying. Our waiters at dinner were excited to show us French cuisine and learn about American culture. They even gave us recommendations to other restaurants to try out! While I traveled to Paris for the sights and the food, it was the people that were really the cherry on top of a great trip!